FOOTBALL Federation Australia sounded the final death knell for Gold Coast United today when they confirmed a new West Sydney A-League club...then admitted it would still be a 10-team competition.
That statement rules out any hope of Gold Coast surviving into next season as a senior side - but there's still a glimmer of hope the NYL team may survive to keep a foothold in the area.
"We intend to make an announcement on the Gold Coast in the next 24 hours," said Buckley.
But he then admitted: "We've said before that we only intend to have a 10 team competition in the A-League next season."
Gold Coast hhave been on death row since the FFA snatched back the licence from billionaire owner Clive Palmer late in the season after a after a series of PR disasters.
Although locals kept faith they could keep the club going, a consortium wanting to take it over this week admitted they'd still need money from Palmer to do so, effectively killing their bid.
Instead, the FFA will be pouring all their resources into the new Western Sydney club, using the unused funds set aside to prop up other A-League clubs to establish and run the new one.
They expect to own the new club for the next two to three years before handing over to a community model or to new investors.
"We've been working on a team in West Sydney for some months,' he said. "This is not something we've kickstarted today.
"We've been talking with the local community, local councils, stadia. We have a prospective list of candidates for CEO and people to run football departments.
"We've been in discussion with prospective coaches. We are very confident we can have a successful club and a successful team up and running come the first match of the 12/13 Hyundai A-League season."
He added: "The funds that will come from the Government will be used in partnership with the FFA and the club to develop football throughout the Western Sydney region to develop football on community initiatives.
"We'll be looking to use the club to support coach education, integration into our elite player pathway systems, to work with local multicultural community and also to make sure we are using the rich vein of talent coming out of Western Sydney to come into our talent development pathways.
"The business model of the club will have its own sponsorship, its own membership receipts, its own gate receipts.
"It will get grants from the FFA as all of our A-League clubs do. That income will be used to run the club.
"We have made provision at the FFA to provide the funding for the start-up phase which will be within the next six months. We have adequate provisions to do that. That's the best model.
"We are certainly going to be very active participants and supporters of the club. The club will have its own management team, its own board of directors who will be appointed in the new few weeks.
"So while the FFA will be the ultimate owner in the first instance, the club will have its own identity and governance team. They will have abslute autonomy to work within the business plan that is being developed.
"They will make the decisions over coaches, they'll make the decisions over players, they'll make the decisions over the colours of the team.
"The club will run and operate like every other club in the A-League. We are very confident in the business plan we have put together."